Starting off the Scottsdale Culinary Festival for 2012 was last night's invite-only Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame cocktail party presented by the Scottsdale League of the Arts held at Technique Restaurant at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Old Town Scottsdale.
It was a nice juxtaposition of chefs-to-be and a stellar lineup of accomplished chefs from around the state, all at the same event.
Curious to know who won?
"Go, sugar!" shouted Eugenia Theodosopoulos of Essence Bakery Cafe, dressed in Neopolitan ice cream colors to read the credentials of each pastry chef nominee with great finesse. She was able to announce her friend Tammie Coe as this year's winner. "I work very hard," Coe said as she accepted the award and thanked everyone who eats her pastries. She told us later that the award was unexpected.
The students created outstanding little bites and plates. We especially loved the Salad Nicoise presented in an anchovy tin.
Chef Jon Paul Hutchins announced a new program through the United Food Bank where participating restaurants can offer a buy one, get one free entree with a $2 donation to the United Food Bank. This program being developed is called Food4All.
There also was a bartending competition in which the evening's guests voted for their favorite "garden-to-glass" creation prepared with local ingredients by members of the U.S. Bartender Guild.
The winning cocktail was the sweet and flowery Flor Fleur by Tony Tuttle (it was our favorite, too). It was a beautifully presented cocktail inspired by his mother's lavender seasoned carrot dish that he used to eat as a kid. Lucky kid. Here is the recipe:
Flor Fleur .5 oz Rosemary lavender honey .5 oz carrot juice 1 oz ruby red grapefruit juice .5 oz St. Germain Elderflower liquour 1.5 oz Flor de Cana 4 year white rum Dash of Old Fashioned Bitter
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Shake, pour and garnish with lemon peel, a carrot stick and lavender flower.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Editor's Note: Chow Bella's admission to this event was comped by the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.